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What is Christianity? How can we understand it better? What don't we understand?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by ObiWan506, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. ObiWan506

    ObiWan506 Former Head Admin star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 5, 2003
    What is Christianity? How can we understand it better? What don't we understand?

    I wanted to create a thread that discusses these points. Discussion being the key word there. I want this to be a friendly thread that doesn't turn into a defending match between users.

    As you might conclude based on my signature, I'm a believer in a higher power. I always want to reach out to people, but not forcefully. I'm very respectable and I wanted to be very subtle about it because most people get offended if you try to teach them something about your religion. But for those who perhaps don't understand some things about Christianity, or want to learn more, I invite you to come join this discussion. There are other religions out there, but I would hope to keep this thread solely dedicated to Christianity. I find that threads with more specific guidelines tend to prosper better then threads with very general and broad circumstances.

    So away we go. Any question or points you want to discuss? Anything on your mind?
  2. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 23, 2001
    Hey there! I'd be interested in discussing different types of Christianity, specifically the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism, which I find many people don't understand. I have a lot of Christian acquaintances who think I'm going to hell because I'm joining the Catholic church, and in many cases their reasons aren't even Catholic beliefs! It amazes me how little the two branches know about each other and what they do and don't share.
  3. Divia

    Divia Jedi Youngling star 3

    Jun 8, 2005
    I think in general people know and understand Christianit. What they do not know or orderstand well is the teachings of the Catholic Church and I'd also have to say the Orthadox Church. These tend to be shrouded in mystery for a lot of people and some harbor harsh feelings for the Catholic Church.
  4. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa

    Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling star 6

    Jan 23, 2002
    I don't think people who criticize Christianity are quite as informed about it as they should be.

    As an ex-Christian who has been raised going to church, I think I understand it very well. Right before I left, I started questioning it. Then I just came to the conclusion that I couldn't prove that there is a God and that no one else could either except saying 'you've got to have faith'. That was close to six years ago, but I still stick to the same thing.

    Regardless of what I sometimes say in jest, I don't hate all Christians. The only Christians I hate are the hardcore ones who won't accept anything less than 'God is my true savior', and they criticize things without even being truely informed about them besides 'I heard'. Since I left the church, I've had too many people try to make me sway back to the 'straight and narrow' without even the slightest concern that I might have something to say about that, and I've even been made a 'faith project'. You know, it's great if you're trying to save me from going to Hell, but in the end it's just up to me. If Heaven and Hell exists, I won't stop you from going to Heaven, and I'll go where I deserve to go.

    I'm really not a hard person to talk to when it comes to religion, I just simply trust science more (and no, I'm not saying that I believe in evolution). Even at that, I wouldn't mind a good discussion about it.

    Anyway, getting back on subject, I think one of the things that make Christianity so complicated is the fact that there are so many branches of it, each condemning the other. I was raised in the Church of Christ, so I was being told that the Catholics, Baptists, and all the rest weren't Christians. Even so, each church is different. I've visited other churches in my travels that are supposedly 'sound' with what I believed, and their teachings were far different than what I had other heard. At that point, I just said '**** it' to it all. That's the same problem I think a lot of people have with the various churches, no consistency. I wouldn't really expect them to have that, but that's quite confusing for some people. The there are a ton of denominations that claim to be Christians, the Catholics claim to be Christians as well but follow a whole different system than any of the others could come up with, and it never ends.

    Lost my train of thought. To be continued. :p
  5. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    I would explain my own views, but I think the Bible can explain it better. I don't think the Bible is always literal, and there are some things in there that shouldn't be or confuse civil law of the day with religious law, but I believe it is still a valuable source and inspired by God.
    Here are some quotes: (no particular order, just looking over my Bible)

    Matthew 22:36-40
    "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
    Jesus replied: "'Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments."

    Matthew 5:3-10
    Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for the will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called sons of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:43-44
    "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

    Matthew 7:1-2
    "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Matthew 7:7-12
    "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."

    Matthew 19:16-26
    Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"
    "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments."
    "Which ones?" the man inquired.
    Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, 'and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'"
    "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered,
    "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
    When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples,
    "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
    When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, "Who then can be saved?"
    Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

    Luke 17:20-23
    Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them.

    John 3:16
    "For God so loved the world that he
  6. DarthDogbert

    DarthDogbert Jedi Master star 2

    Sep 2, 2004
    On the topic of salvation by faith alone:

    Many believe that one can be saved by faith alone. They often turn to such passages as Eph. 2:8-9 and Jn. 3:16 to show that salvation is not conditioned upon any works.

    However, passages such as James 2:24 and 26 say that faith without works is dead and that salvation is not by faith alone. ("Alone" is the key word since passages that say we are saved by faith do not say by faith alone.)

    Read Heb. 11 and see how that their faith was acceptable because they did what God said (built an ark, etc). Read Mk. 16:16 and see how that those who "believe and are baptized" will be saved. Read through the book of Acts and note how many times one who had just believed was told they must do something (ie, be baptized). Read through the epistles and see how that we must continue in service to God to be found faithful in the end.

    I believe that a consistent reading of the Scriptures will show that salvation is based upon faith and works. That is, that one can only be saved if they believe God enough to do what he says, rather than how the demons just believe and tremble.

    (As for passages like Eph. 2:8-9 that seem to exclude works, note that the works there are ones that man can boast of. I cannot boast if I am simply doing what God told me to do, especially if I am doing it by faith and not by my own sight. So these passages, to be consistent, exclude works of man's wisdom and not works of God's, ie His commandments.)
  7. darthOB1

    darthOB1 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Mar 22, 2000
    I think more importantly we need to ask the question what is a Christian?

    That which determines a Christian is not adherence to the popularly accepted beliefs of orthodox religious organizations and their doctrine. Nor is it participation in popular religious practices and religious holidays. Conforming to the popular concept of a Christian does not make a person a Christian. What does is the meeting of Scriptural qualifications. The apostle Peter said: ?Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely.? (1 Pet. 2:21) One must follow the example Christ set for us to follow.
  8. dizfactor

    dizfactor Jedi Knight star 5

    Aug 12, 2002
    According to you, anyway. Other Christians might feel differently.

    This, honestly, is one of the things that irritates me the most about contemporary American Biblically-literalist evangelical Protestants: that they feel fit to decide who gets to be a Christian and who doesn't.

    Contrary to the belief of some people, you don't have to believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and completely literal Word of God to be a Christian. You don't have to believe that man is saved by faith alone.

    Catholics are Christians. Mormons are Christians. Episcopal liberals, like the members of those churches who bless same-sex unions and appointed a gay bishop, are Christians. Many Unitarians are Christians.

    The religion is bigger and older than a narrow sect of predominantly American literalists, and they don't get to claim the whole thing for their own.
  9. Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa

    Smuggler-of-Mos-Espa Jedi Youngling star 6

    Jan 23, 2002
    True. I was always taught that 'Christian' meant Christ-like.
  10. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    Mark tells us very plainly how to understand Christianity better: pick up a snake. A poisonous snake.

    If the snake doesn't bite you, then clearly you are on the right path. If the snake does bite you and you get sick and/or die, then you must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

    You may not be able to tell the good Christian doctrine from the bad, but the snake can.
  11. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Force Ghost star 8

    Apr 17, 2006
    On the topic of salvation by faith alone, I don't believe in that. You have to show your faith by doing good works. Besides, a mass murderer is not going to achieve salvation just by being christian.
  12. ScaPaCamem

    ScaPaCamem Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 10, 2003
    I am a Catholic so I am going to talk about what we as Catholic's believe.

    -Someone said all Christian Chruches condemn each other. That is not true. Catholics believe that being a good person can achieve eternal life. Many Protestants believe that if you are not what they are you are going to hell. Which IMO is completely ridicolous.

    -I am sorry man, but you must know very little about the history of the Church. There was only one sect at first. That was Catholicism. Then the Protestant Refromation came along and the rifts in the church began to form. Catholicism holds the original teachings of the Church and they stick to the original teachings.

    -Many believe that we worship Mary. This comes from a typical Human Standard of not wanting to step outside your "normal everday life". We as Catholics pray to Mary as though she is a connection to Jesus. We ask her to pray for us. We do not pray to her in the same way we do Jesus and God.

    More to come. I just don't feel like typing right now.
  13. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
    And not all Protestants believe other religions and sects go to hell. Protestant just means you're a Christian, but you're not Catholic or Orthodox. There are hundreds of different Protestant groups, and they can all be very different.

    Catholocism was first, though it wasn't always called that. There were a lot of different movements in the beginning, like the Gnostics, but they all fell back to one way after Empero Constantine made it the official Roman religion. When the Roman Empire split, the Church did too into Catholic and Orthodox for the east and west empires, a political reason. Martin Luther went against the Catholic Church for religious reasons, and after him and his sucess came the hundreds of different Protestant groups, all pretty different. And Henry VIII separted to form the Church of England so he could divorce his SPanish wife, whose brother, the king of Spain, was currently holding that Pope as hostage.
  14. Jediflyer

    Jediflyer Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 5, 2001
    I'm an atheist, but as a Catholic for the first 17 odd years of my life, with 10 years of Catholic schooling under my belt, I understand the topic well enough.

    Catholics believe that being a good person can achieve eternal life.

    No they don't. They believe that if you hear the truth and reject it you will go to hell. As far as people that do not know of God, they say that it is in God's hands. For example, me, as an atheist, will go to hell even if I live a "good" life. On the other hand, the fate of say, a member of an isolated native American tribe in South America, will be decided by God.

    You may not be able to tell the good Christian doctrine from the bad, but the snake can.


    Seriously though, that reminds me of that one X-Files episode that scared the crap out of me when I was about 14 years old.

    Darth-Ghost, that was a nice consise history of Christian Church history.

  15. Dusty

    Dusty Jedi Youngling star 1

    May 27, 2002
    I think the most unfortunate thing about Christianity is the fact that too many people focus on our differences and on judging others. The different sects, while no longer killing each other, remain seperate over small differences. Many Christians, believing that non believers are going to Hell, will tell people that, pushing them away. I can't claim to know the fate of anyone after death. Only God knows that. Christianity is such an upbeat faith that is based on the simple fact that God loves you. I think we need more emphasis on that.
  16. Darth Guy

    Darth Guy Chosen One star 10

    Aug 16, 2002
    That's ridiculous; if that were true no one would be a Christian. A Christian is a follower of one of the various Christian denominations. That's it.
  17. saber_death

    saber_death Jedi Padawan star 4

    Feb 2, 2005
    Christianity, to me and those who i know have a sincere and strong faith in my life, is basically all about one thing... surrendering. surrendering our lives and everything in them (time, money, energy, even our bodies) to God and His glory, instead of our own desires (whether "good" or "bad")... saying, as Christ did in the Lord's Prayer and on the Mount of Olives: "Thy will be done". and sin is quite simply saying "my will be done" instead of "Thy will be done".

    in this we model our lives, as earlier posters have said, on Christ (though we can not even come close to being perfect as He was). He surrendered the glory of Heaven for an earthly life... and a pretty lowly one at that. He spent His earthly life with the poor, the persecuted, the sinners (though He never condoned their sin). He then died for us in one of the worst ways we humans have ever thought of. and what's so amazing is He didn't need to. He had angels glorifying Him in heaven, so there certainly was no need to make us worship Him. He has his own Father and the Spirit (and aforementioned angels) for company. He did it because He cared enough about us to suffer through all that just so we wouldn't be separated from Him forever.

    Christians, above all else, believe in a God that loves everyone enough to die for anyone who will accept Him. so many Christians (myself included) get so caught up in politics (church and secular) and theology and just life on this earth that we forget that sometimes. sometimes we try so hard to help others know Christ that we forget why it is we want to help them... which is so they can experience the joy and love we have. and of course there are those who don't honestly believe and use the church for the own ends... and then make those of us who mean well look that much worse beyond our own faults.

    as for denominations... most solid Christians i know don't care about them one bit. based on Christians of my generation (i'm 20 btw) denominations in america won't last much longer as we rarely if ever claim a denominational "allegiance" beyond maybe saying Protestant. true Christians can be found in every major denomination... and apostates/fakers can be found in every one as well. what matters most is one's personal relationship with Christ... which if genuine will spill over into you relations with the world/the Church. there are certain denominations that seem (to me) to generally be more ?right?, but at the same time many people just go to a church they enjoy/learn from, so the denomination of that church may not quite line up with the individual?s personal beliefs. in the ?faith vs good works? debate? faith w/out works is dead (James 2:20), yet our best works/righteousness without Christ as the reason are the same as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)? it takes both, and one who truly has one has the other.

    as for where that line between believers and non-believers is... well, no man knows another's heart, nor do we know God's plan for anyone (sometimes including ourselves) in this life or the next. however, certain claimed beliefs are quite simply not Christianity. by one [link=]survey (see page 42)[/link] i?ve seen, 30% of Catholics in France say God most likely/definitely doesn't exist... they may be good people, but they're not Christians (though at the same time i personally know Catholics who are as solid in their faith and views as anyone). Mormonism differs from Christianity on many key points, in fact just as many and as notable of ones as Islam, so i wouldn't consider Mormonism as a whole to be part of the church, nor do many Christians even of a less than "fundamentalist" sort.

    basically, if it's not based first and foremost on the canon Bible (with some room for interpretation of course) and the salvation from sin offered by Christ as God's Son, it's not Christianity... it may be a good lifestyle, it may be religious... but it's not Christianity. that doesn't mean one has to have perfect theol
  18. Espaldapalabras

    Espaldapalabras Jedi Master star 5

    Aug 25, 2005
    I basically agree with dizfactor on this, which is amazing as we could probably not have more different views on religion.

    If you heard some sect of Islam try to claim another was not Muslim these same people would dismiss it immediately. It doesn't matter what tenants they follow, they both claim to follow Mohammed.

    I see it sort of like those people that tried calling other groups "rats" or "cockroaches" so they wouldn't be confronted with the idea that they were human when they killed them. It is a lot easier to send people to hell if you convince yourself they don't try and worship the same God or Savior as you.
  19. Rayson

    Rayson Jedi Padawan star 4

    Apr 10, 2002
    It's true, the Bible isn't necessarily always literal. Unfortuantely people abuse this reasoning and take some of the most literal things very figuratively (e.g. The Book of Revelation), and then they take other figurative things too literally.

    Jesus Christ often talked in metaphors, but because the reasoning that Christ cannot sin (cannot lie), everything he says must-therefore-be literal. A common misconception, though a very hindering one.

    Ah, but good works alone does not get your name written in the book of life, does it? It takes the admittance that Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sin and lead us to Christ, as said in John 14:6 - "Jesus replied, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

    So yes, even a mass murderer can recieve Heaven, granted they've accepted the love and grace of Christ willingly and knowingly, and believing in the redeeming power of Christ's love.


    To answer the question, Christianity is fundamentally belief that Jesus Christ came to Earth, died on the cross for our sins, and that he is coming back again (The Rapture; Glorious Appearing).
  20. Mcily_Nochi

    Mcily_Nochi Jedi Padawan star 4

    Sep 23, 2001
    I think human beings get so caught up in trying to decide who is a Christian and who isn't that they forget that it was never up to them in the first place. That being said, it would be irresponsible if Christians did not try to understand what exactly God wants from us. Each is going to have a different interpretation, and just as they are not all right they are not all wrong either. It is up to the individual and the community together to come to a consensus on this, or to agree that consensus is impossible. At this point, I would say the latter is more evident.

    The keystone of my Christian beliefs, which happen to fall under the broad category of "Catholic," is that God is love and if we want to emulate God, then we must exist in love. Finger-pointing and irritation is not helpful to those who are trying to lead a Christian life. If someone else does not agree with you, is arguing going to change that? I don't know about anyone else, but I just get stubborn when people try to tell me that I'm flat-out wrong. If someone is living the way I would like to live, emulating Christ and radiating His love, then I am much more likely to pay attention to the words they are saying!
  21. ScaPaCamem

    ScaPaCamem Jedi Padawan star 4

    Jul 10, 2003

    I got news for you bud, there is a reason American Protestants are considered among the most irrational people in the world and that is a fact. There are 2 billion Chrisitians in the world 1 billion are Catholic. The other half is broken up into the several different denominations. Do you know why these doniminations were formed? Because they saw something in the teachings of the Catholic church and said "Well we don't think God really meant that. He really meant this." How dare you say we are not Christians.

    I can literally remember reading articles in foreign magazines talking about how concided foreigners think American Protestants are and that they believe they are the only ones who can be saved. You can take you hateful vegeneful God and go listen to a preacher talk about how everyone else except Protestants will burn in hell, I will go to my Catholic Church and I will hear a preaching discussing what and impact Ghandi has made while accepting that he is in heaven. How can you people actually believe the irrational things you do, actually why would you want to believe that? Why would you want to believe in a God who condemns good people just because they had a hard time believing. I would much rather believe in a God that is merciful and every good person can be saved.

    I may get banned for this, but so should he. That is one of the moronic statements I have ever read on a message board and it is very offensive. Just because Protestant preachers take every part of the bible literally doesn't mean everyone else cannot be saved. Next time you "pray" why don't you reflect on the Protestant teachings that are some of the most selfish teachings in the world.

    And it shows how warped your mind is by the Church. It is HISTORY and FACT that the Catholic teaching was founded by the APOSTLE Peter, who was given that right by Christ. Whether God is real (which of course I believe he is) or not Catholicisim is the original religion founded by Jesus Christ.

    This doesn't go for every protestant but to the guy who made that comment, you need to back off. You want to act so holy but where do the protestants get off preaching their religion to everyone and telling everyone else there wrong. You see the Catholic Church doesn't do that, they accept that the God talked about in the New Testemant is merciful and forgiving, obviously protestants don't believe that.

    I am not trying to argue, because I believe that. I am just very offended that someone actually felt they had the right to say that, sums up what a lot of Protestant denominations believe, which is sad.

    PRENNTACULAR VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 21, 2005
    First, my answer to the thread topic.

    As far as deffinitions go, this is what I have.

    Christianity- The religion that recognizes Jesus Christ as the living God, the creator, and master of the universe. Participants beleive that their sole reason of existence is to live/share their lives with God, and and are living their lives accordingly.


    On to rebutals of other's points....

    True. I was always taught that 'Christian' meant Christ-like.


    That's ridiculous; if that were true no one would be a Christian.

    For this statement to be true, we would need to determine the deffenition of "christ-like." If what Smuggler meant was that Christain meant a person who was exactly like Christ, than yes, it would be impossible. But if Smuggler meant the "Christ-like" meant following Jesus' teachings and beleiving what he said to be true, than no, it indeed wouldn't be impossible.

    A Christian is a follower of one of the various Christian denominations. That's it.

    While this is rather simplistic, and there is a lot to be said about what those various denomonations beleive that makes them Christian, I agree with this deffenition.

    Christianity, to me and those who i know have a sincere and strong faith in my life, is basically all about one thing... surrendering. surrendering our lives and everything in them (time, money, energy, even our bodies) to God and His glory, instead of our own desires (whether "good" or "bad")... saying, as Christ did in the Lord's Prayer and on the Mount of Olives: "Thy will be done"

    First off, everybody in the eart has a strong faith. Everybody who beleives anything has a strong faith in that thing. It has always been one of my pet peeves of the church that they say "somone who has a strong faith" in the context of someone who agrees with them and is good at putting their beleifs in action. I always hate it when people say, so and so is losing his faith. Becuase he is not losing his faith. He is losing faith in what you beleive, only to transfer it over to something that he beleivs in. [/endrant]

    Also, while I agree that for one to live his or her life with God, or "have a relationship with God" as some people say (I won't go on a rant about that one, but I certainly want to!), they need to surrender to God, I think that nobody knows what it means to truly surrender their life to God, and if the only deciding factor of whether you were a Christian or not was your ability and willingness to surrender your life to God, there would be no Christains on this earth.

    Because of Sin, we cannot truly surrender our lives to God.

    and sin is quite simply saying "my will be done" instead of "Thy will be done".

    While a clever play on words, this statment is wrong. Us saying "My will be done" is simply a symptom of SIN. Something we do because Sin exists. Sin in itself is speration from God. We were created to live and share our lives with God, and we can't becaue of Sin. Sin is not actions we commit, it is the disease itself. The actions are simple symptoms of Sin.

    He had angels glorifying Him in heaven, so there certainly was no need to make us worship Him. He has his own Father and the Spirit (and aforementioned angels) for company. He did it because He cared enough about us to suffer through all that just so we wouldn't be separated from Him forever.

    Let me play devils adovcate here. I think you may be thinking the same thing I am here, but how would you answer these questions?

    This statement is contradictory. If God had angels in Heavan that did worship him and love him, than why would he even create us? If he "already had company" than why would he did so that we wouldn't be sperated from him forever?

    Christians, above all else, believe in a God that loves everyone enough to die for anyone who will accept Him.

    I beleive in a God who died for everybody, not just those who will "accept him." He doesn't love those who chose to not live and share their lives with him any less th
  23. Kimball_Kinnison

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Oct 28, 2001
    So, for you, in order to be a "Christian", someone has to believe in your form of Christianity. Every denominantion in the world differs from every other on "key points".

    The only rational criteria for whether someone is a "Christian" or not is whether they are a follower of Jesus Christ or not. You don't have to believe in Christ's divinity (you can believe that he was only a great teacher and still try to follow his teachings), as many Unitarians do, and still be a CHristian. You don't have to agree on every last doctrine.

    You simply have to be a follower of Christ.

    Mormons are Christians. That is a simple fact. The name of the Church isn't the "Mormon Church". It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Doctrinally, there are about as many differences between the LDS Church and "mainstream" Protestants as there are between the Catholic Church and those same Protestants. Considering that the Catholic Church was around first, and was the "parent" church for the Protestants (i.e. who do you think they were protesting?), by your reasoning, Catholics would be justified in saying that Protestants aren't Christians.

    Some say that "Mormons" aren't Christians because they believe in a "different" Christ. I don't know about you, but speaking as someone who is LDS, the Christ I believe in as my personal savior and redeemer is the one who was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, suffered in Gethsemane, was crucified on Golgotha, suffered and died for the sins of the world, was buried in the garden tomb, and then rose from the dead on the third day.

    If that doesn't make me a Christian, what else possibly could?

    Kimball Kinnison

    EDIT: I've attended quite a few other denominations, when invited by a friend, and usually I've found that I agree with the bulk (say, around 90%) of what I heard in the sermons, classes, etc. I bet you that if you were to come to one Sunday of LDS meetings (and do it with an open mind, not looking to find fault), you would likely agree with about as much of the doctrines taught there. Sure, we have additional canon beyond the Bible, but then there are other "Christians" who do as well. If you look at the actual teachings that we have, you would probably find yourself agreeing with a lot more than you expect.

    Also, a wonderful book to read that covers some of those doctrinal differences is How Wide the Divide. It is written by two professors of religion, one LDS and the other an Evangelical. In it, they discuss their own beliefs and then compare and contrast them. In the end, you can see that while there are some differences, there are also a lot of similarities.
  24. PrincessChattyCathy

    PrincessChattyCathy Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 11, 2005
    I know that sending spam emails telling me if I don't forward the email to ten of my friends I am going to hell because I am ashamed of Jesus Christ my Savior is not a Christian act. Really come on first of all do people think that Jesus wants them to forward on spam emails? This is not how I would want to get my message out. Second by not forwarding on spam do they really believe it is because of me being ashamed? I don't send them on because they are a waste of band width and space. I also wouldn't want any of my friends to feel guilty or think they are going to hell because they didn't forward the email.
  25. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Force Ghost star 8

    Apr 17, 2006

    But I said one must do both good works and have faith to achieve salvation (at least what I've been taught)